Archive for January, 2013

CFR 600.9

§ 600.9

State authorization.
(a) (1) An institution described under §§ 600.4600.5, and 600.6 is legally authorized by a State if the State has a process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning the institution including enforcing applicable State laws, and the institution meets the provisions of paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (a)(1)(ii), or (b) of this section.
(i) (A) The institution is established by name as an educational institution by a State through a charter, statute, constitutional provision, or other action issued by an appropriate State agency or State entity and is authorized to operate educational programs beyond secondary education, including programs leading to a degree or certificate.
(B) The institution complies with any applicable State approval or licensure requirements, except that the State may exempt the institution from any State approval or licensure requirements based on the institution’s accreditation by one or more accrediting agencies recognized by the Secretary or based upon the institution being in operation for at least 20 years.
(ii) If an institution is established by a State on the basis of an authorization to conduct business in the State or to operate as a nonprofit charitable organization, but not established by name as an educational institution under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, the institution—
(A) By name, must be approved or licensed by the State to offer programs beyond secondary education, including programs leading to a degree or certificate; and
(B) May not be exempt from the State’s approval or licensure requirements based on accreditation, years in operation, or other comparable exemption.
(2) The Secretary considers an institution to meet the provisions of paragraph (a)(1) of this section if the institution is authorized by name to offer educational programs beyond secondary education by—
(i) The Federal Government; or
(ii) As defined in 25 U.S.C. 1802(2), an Indian tribe, provided that the institution is located on tribal lands and the tribal government has a process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning an institution and enforces applicable tribal requirements or laws.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, an institution is considered to be legally authorized to operate educational programs beyond secondary education if it is exempt from State authorization as a religious institution under the State constitution or by State law.
(2) For purposes of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, a religious institution is an institution that—
(i) Is owned, controlled, operated, and maintained by a religious organization lawfully operating as a nonprofit religious corporation; and
(ii) Awards only religious degrees or certificates including, but not limited to, a certificate of Talmudic studies, an associate of Biblical studies, a bachelor of religious studies, a master of divinity, or a doctor of divinity.
(c) If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering postsecondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State’s approval upon request.
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Dear Colleague letter regarding State Oversight of Post Secondary Schools

Publication Date: January 23, 2013

DCL ID:  GEN-13-04

Subject: State Authorization Regulations Effective Date Extension – Final Year

Summary: This letter reminds postsecondary institutions and States that postsecondary institutions are required to have certain types of State oversight and approvals in order to participate in the Title IV Federal Student Aid programs and explains that the enforcement of these state authorization requirements for institutions was previously stayed to July 1, 2013. After that date, postsecondary institutions that are not compliant with the state authorization regulations under 34 CFR 600.9(a) and (b) may lose their eligibility to participate in Title IV Federal Student Aid programs.

Dear Colleague:

On July 1, 2011, new minimum requirements went into effect concerning State oversight and approvals for postsecondary institutions. On August 22, 2011, we published an electronic announcement that described the steps a postsecondary institution could follow to obtain a one-year extension of the effective date of the regulations at 34 CFR 600.9(a) and (b), which set forth the requirements for an institution of higher education, a proprietary institution of higher education, and a postsecondary vocational institution to be considered legally authorized by a State. As noted in the preamble to the program integrity final regulations that were published on October 29, 2010, while the Secretary had designated §600.9(a) and (b) as being effective July 1, 2011, a State may have been unable to provide the appropriate State authorizations to its institutions by that date. The final regulations provided that institutions unable to obtain State authorization could receive a one-year stay of the enforcement of the regulations to July 1, 2012, and if necessary, an additional one-year extension to July 1, 2013.

This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) serves as a reminder that the final year of the stay of the enforcement of the State authorization regulations is currently underway and ends June 30, 2013. We are providing this reminder to encourage States to work with their postsecondary institutions to have acceptable procedures in place to meet the Department’s oversight and approval requirements. In order to be eligible to participate in Title IV Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs, an institution must be legally authorized by a State to provide a postsecondary education program, and the State must have a process to review and act upon complaints about that institution. Please note that States may have different types of approvals and authorizations for different types of institutions, so long as the State authorization for each type of institution meets the requirements in the regulations. An institution that cannot meet these regulatory requirements may lose its eligibility to participate in Title IV FSA programs, which means that students at that institution would be unable to receive Federal student aid. Accordingly, States and postsecondary institutions that have not yet done so should work together to ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements at 34 CFR 600.9(a) and (b) by July 1, 2013.

If you believe that some institutions within your State may have difficulty complying with these regulatory requirements by June 30, 2013, please contact Sophia McArdle at (202) 219-7078 or by e-mail at sophia.mcardle@ed.gov no later than 30 days from the publication date of this DCL with a description of the issue and your plan for meeting the regulatory requirements.

Sincerely,

David A. Bergeron
Acting Assistant Secretary for
Postsecondary Education

Attachments/Enclosures:

GEN-13-04: State Authorization Regulations Effective Date Exte

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Legislative Update – January 2013

Idaho’s 62nd legislative session convened on Monday, marking 150 years since Idaho became a territory. The first committee meetings have taken place, but with the exception of a handful of rules hearings, most are organizational sessions, with the assignment of seats, a brief overview of things to come, parliamentary procedure and ethics training. Governor Otter presented his State of the State address Monday, applauding our military and fire fighters and giving his vision for the session.
Governor Otter proposed a “fiscally sound budget” with government growing slower that the economy. His budget calls for a 3.1 percent increase in state general fund spending, though state economists are predicting a 5.3 percent increase in general fund tax revenue next year. Otter said that move reflects “our continuing need for caution and prudence in the collection and expenditure of the people’s hard-earned dollars.”
Details in the budget itself show that Otter is proposing to add another $35 million to the state’s budget stabilization fund; set aside $20 million toward a phase-out or repeal of the personal property tax on business equipment; a 2 percent, $25.6 million increase in the general fund budget for public schools; and a $70 million building project for a new mental health facility near the prison.
Aside from the budget, talk has generally circled around three main topics:
 Personal Property Tax – the Governor is supporting a repeal of the personal property tax on business equipment. There is a phase out of the tax currently on the books, but it is triggered by fairly large growth in the economy that has not occurred, so the tax remains on the books and a thorn in the side of businesses.
 Education reform – with the November 6th election resulting in a resounding defeat of Propositions 1, 2 and 3, the Governor is taking both a long and short term approach to the issue. This session he would like to see some action taken on things that have universal support, and over the next year he has asked for the convening of a group of interested parties to work together and bring additional proposals to the 2014 legislature.   Because the bills were overturned, if the legislature does nothing this session, $30million will automatically move to the education stabilization fund instead of into the schools.   This will require germane committee action as well as JFAC action to reverse, and at this point it is unclear where the money will go.
 Idaho’s Health care exchange – the Governor is supporting a state based health care exchange this year as he did last year. The legislature remains divided as whether to establish a state run health care exchange or to default to the Federal Government exchange. There continues to be a lack of information from the Feds and it is not clear if a state exchange would in fact be any different than a federal exchange. The rules at this time are identical.
Next week we expect all committees to be filled with agency rules review with possibly a few agency bills printed. At the end of this first week, there is a lot of preparatory work going on behind the scenes. Bills are being drafted and strategies are being discussed. We continue to meet and build relationships and discuss your issues with the new legislators that have been assigned to our germane committees. In the days to come, I will send general updates to you either bi-weekly or weekly, as appropriate. Specific issue updates will be sent to you as conditions warrant.

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